SEARCH BLOG: ENERGY
From the Boston Globe:
The US House approved an energy bill last night that would allow offshore drilling as close as 50 miles from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, but a last-minute provision added at the insistence of Massachusetts members would prohibit oil and gas drilling around Georges Bank, saving New England's premier commercial fishing grounds from potential harm.
The legislation also promotes investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, paid for by eliminating tax exemptions for oil companies and increasing their royalty payments, and it authorizes more funding for heating assistance for low-income people.
The House voted 236 to 189 for the package.
The Democratic majority's support for expanded ocean drilling reflects mounting political pressure from an electorate deeply concerned about the distressed economy and high gasoline prices. Democratic leaders had previously criticized Republican proposals to end a longtime ban on offshore drilling, saying new wells would take years to produce oil and gas and thus have no immediate impact on prices. But with the ban set to expire at the end of this month and the November elections approaching, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shifted her stance, proposing legislation that would allow drilling as close as 100 miles from shore, and with a state's permission, as close as 50 miles from shore.
"My colleagues have told me to tell you that it's time for an oil change in America, and this bill represents that," Pelosi said in a news conference yes terday.
From Ohio Rep. John Boehner's email:
When is more less? When Nancy gives it.
Boehner: No-Energy Energy Bill "Won't Do a Damn Thing About American Energy"
Last night around 10 pm, we were presented with a more than 200-page bill that we are expected to vote on today that proposes to solve America's energy crisis. House Republicans have spent the last three months discussing the need for a comprehensive energy strategy to open our natural resources, increase our investment in alternative and renewable fuels, and create American energy independence.
Last night, the Rules Committee – also known as “The Speaker’s Committee” – refused to give House Republicans equal time during today’s debate on the latest energy legislation brought to the Floor. Instead of letting lawmakers vote on the American Energy Act, which House Republicans introduced more than two months ago, Democratic leaders are bringing their bill to the Floor under a process that does not a single lawmaker offer a single amendment to the bill.
What’s more, this bill is being debated and is expected to be voted on while several lawmakers from Texas remain at home helping with recovery efforts after Hurricane Ike.
Written behind closed doors with special interest allies who are on the record supporting higher gas prices and released to the public in the dark of night, this latest bill is just another hoax on the American people who expect – and deserve – better.
This bill permanently locks away 88 percent of the best American oil resources contained in deep-ocean waters. It blocks valuable and job-creating energy production in remote areas of Alaska and in the Rocky Mountains. And it stops efforts to produce more and cheaper energy through emissions-free nuclear and coal-to-liquids technology.
Rather than the “all of the above” approach supported by the American people, this bill is nearly a “none of the above.” It will do nothing to help lower gas prices and create American energy independence.